FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 27, 2017
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215
PIERRE, S.D. – A group of top U.S. law enforcement leaders is launching an ambitious new campaign to locate and rescue children from sexual exploitation and trafficking.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) announced today the creation of the national "Campaign for Child Rescue", a joint partnership of law enforcement, private industry leaders and nonprofit organizations.
The campaign kicks off this week in Washington, D.C. at the annual winter meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), where Attorney General Jackley and Attorney General Herring will showcase the potential of new technology to fight child exploitation and encourage other attorneys general to consider deploying advanced technology in their own states.
“There is no higher or more urgent priority in law enforcement than protecting our children,” said Jackley. “Law enforcement in every state is locked in a high tech fight to rescue children from child pornographers and traffickers. The Campaign for Child Rescue provides the new technology to identify and share information for law enforcement investigators.”
“Virginia’s law enforcement and high tech communities have been on the cutting edge of leveraging new technology to find and rescue children and to put those who try to exploit them behind bars,” says Herring. “By enlisting our colleagues across the country in the fight, along with our nonprofit and private sector technology partners, we can expand the power and reach of our efforts to make sure that we keep pace with these criminals and get children out of danger as quickly as possible.”
The AG’s campaign is joining forces with The National Association to PROTECT Children and PROJECT VIC, an international technology consortium. The project helps develop and deploy technology donated by several industry partners, including Microsoft and software developer Griffeye.
Project VIC coordinator Rich Brown, a retired Bureau Chief New Jersey State Police, says the new AG’s campaign will ensure resources are deployed to identify and rescue children in every state.
“These crimes cross all state and national borders,” said Brown. “But the child victims reside in local communities throughout the United States. The mission can’t succeed without this kind of strong law enforcement leadership.”
Information on the new campaign will be presented to Attorneys General Tuesday Feb. 28, 2017 by the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT), the lead nonprofit partner for the project.
The "Campaign for Child Rescue" is also designed to support beleaguered law enforcement personnel on the front lines of the fight. According to Herring and Jackley, the technologies being adopted will allow investigators to reduce their exposure to video and photos of children being sexually assaulted by 70 percent or more, enabling them to focus instead on children still awaiting rescue.
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